IB outcomes: 

Explain the concept and importance of biodiversity in tropical rainforests. Examine the causes and consequences of reduced biodiversity in this biome.


Part 1: Intro to Biodiversity

World Ecosystems


  • The sun supplies the overwhelming majority of energy
    • The energy is absorbed by plants through photosynthesis
    • It is then redistributed to other species through
      • Decomposition
      • Combustion
      • Consumption
  • The biosphere is the part of the earth where all living thing live.
  • All elements are directly or indirectly interdependent.
  • An ecosystem is an interdependent community of plants and animals together with the habitat to which they have adapted.
  • Organisms can be either producers or consumers:
    • Producers convert energy from the environment into carbon bonds
    • Plants are the most obvious examples of producers; plants take energy from sunlight and use it to convert carbon dioxide into glucose (or other sugars).
    • Another word for producers is autotrophs
    • Energy and nutrients are passed from organism to organism through the food chain as one organism eats another.
    • Decomposers remove the last energy from the remains of organisms.
    • Inorganic nutrients are cycled, energy is not.
  • Biodiversity is the biological diversity of all forms of life on earth: plants, animals and microorganisms. It refers to to species diversity, variations within species, interdependence of species, and habitat diversity.


Further reading

Exercise: In groups, you will explain one of the following model. Create a (max) one page factsheet to share with the class

  1. Trophic levels
  2. Energy flows within an ecosystem
  3. Pyramid of numbers, biomass and energy
  4. The importance of tropical ecosystems

We will present 20 minutes before the end of class, or when you are all done.